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Theo Epstein's Introductory Press Conference with the Chicago Cubs

Oct 25, 2011|

Former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is introduced to the Chicago media as the new President of Baseball Operations of the Chicago Cubs.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Thank you for joining us on this exciting day and that's the Chicago Cubs introduce new baseball leadership -- organization. At this time I'd like to turn over to Cubs chairman Tom tickets for opening remarks and to introduce our new president of baseball operations. -- Good morning everybody and -- welcome to this friendly confines. He was out almost two years ago today that I first addressed most people in this room as the new chairman of the Chicago Cubs. Back then I say we had three priorities. We said that we want to be a good neighbor. And we have not gone about that and raise more money for charitable organizations and ever and reached out to our community more than ever. Another priority we had was to preserve Wrigley Field. And we continue to work toward a solution that will help us get over the significant challenges we have here in our hundred year old ballpark. But the first go all the most important goal that we outline on that day. Was to win a World Series. Today we take a major step. Toward achieving that goal with the announcement of our new president of baseball operations. PO ST. We began this search in August. And I said at that point we were looking for someone. With -- background in player development. Someone who had its proven track record of success. Someone who had a strong analytical background and someone who had experiencing creating a culture of winning. It was also important to me. That this person would not be someone who was content with their past successes but but someone who would build on those successes. To improve themselves and to improve the organization that threw it. Given these criteria. That we laid out. I simply cannot imagine a better person for this job and Theo Epstein. -- will assume the title of baseball operations president of baseball operations. Reporting directly to me. He will ultimately be responsible for all activities related to the baseball side of the Chicago Cubs organization. We'll be my job. To give him an all his staff all the support that I can. I want to thank everyone in that based on the baseball staff. Over the past few months the entire baseball organization has stayed together stepped up and worked very hard. And of course I can't say enough about acting general manager Randy bush. Who has been a consummate professional. And a valuable advisor throughout this process. I also want to thank our president of business operations Crane -- -- is an excellent baseball executive. Who worked very hard to put this deal together and his partition participation in the process. Has been critical to his success. I would also like to thank my family vote that supportive siblings and diligent directors. This process has had a few an interesting moments but they were always steadfast in their support of me and their commitment. To bring in the right leadership to a baseball organization. From a personal standpoint while I yeah -- enjoy. Executing the search process I'm glad it's over. As the team chairman I'm extremely pleased with the results of our of our search. And as a fan. I've truly excited about the future of this team. But now it's time to go to work. But we. We look forward. To go into work because. We believe that's Chicago Cubs. Have the best fans in baseball. We know that we have the best ballpark in baseball. And we look forward to the day where we can say that we have the best team in baseball. And we are confident. That our new president of baseball operations. Will lead us to that day and -- that I like to introduce the left. Thanks everybody for coming today yeah I've waited a few weeks to say this but it truly feels great to be a cub today. But to start by -- Tom and in the entire family. For putting their faith in me. And for giving me this incredible opportunity. I wouldn't be here without your commitment to the fans and without your longterm vision for the organization. I'd also like to thank Crane -- We're working tirelessly to get this transaction done. There really enjoyed my brief time where would you so far. You know -- sort of work closely with the use my partner on the business side of the organization. It's -- like thank Reggie Bush from. In the entire baseball operations department. For being diligent stewards during this transition period I've been around leadership changes in baseball I've been around. Dinner and GM situation before I know it's not easy. So great job Randy good job guys. I'd also like to thank Jim Hendry. My really admire. Forgetting his ball to this organization for seventeen years especially. For staying on this summer. Under really unique circumstances to finish off signing a very strong draft class. That really showed how much Jim -- the Cubs interest in front of his own interest and I hope I can demonstrate that same class and loyalty to the Cubs during my tenure here. Also like to -- Cubs fans for being so incredibly welcoming to me and my family already. Appreciate your faith in me. And promised to repay you. The hard work and dedication it deserved. Like to thank god John Henry Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino. Not only for allowing this move that happens. But for giving me my original opportunity is here nine years ago and for supporting me along the way personally and professionally. Also quick thank you to Terry Francona. The players on my coworkers and friends of the Red Sox including the fans. Thanks for all the great times there. I'm really proud of what we accomplished together. And I wish you nothing but the best going forward and good luck today event. Finally that affect my beautiful wife Reyes who my side for ten years and -- his support this move would be possible. And to Jack at home everybody. I was so fortunate to spend a decade in the Red Sox organization and I consider myself very very lucky. To be a cub today it truly is an honor and a privilege to join such a special organization. To me that baseball. Is better with tradition. Baseball is better -- history. Baseball is better with fans who care. Baseball better in ballparks like this you know baseball is better during the day. And this ball is best of all when you win you know that ultimately is why I'm here today. We -- ownership and this fan support I firmly believe that we can preserve. All those things and as mentioned that makes -- makes makes the Cubs so special fans overtime. Build a consistent winner -- a team that is playing baseball in October. Regularly. And the team that lost and only when the World Series. That does not happen overnight. And it certainly does not happen because of any one person. Overtime. And together. We will build a solid foundation that delivers sustained success. For the Cubs. That's foundation for sustained success starts with a commitment to scouting and player development. Not just the words. But the actions -- rickets family and already demonstrated that committee -- and an aggressive draft. This past summer and through our actions will demonstrate that commitment every single that. Our goal will be to build the best scouting department in the game one it makes an annual impact in the draft. And internationally. As far as player development goes we will define and implement the Cubs away. But playing the game. And we won't rest until there's a steady stream of talent. Coming through the minor league system trained in that Cubs way in making an impact out here at Wrigley Field. Building a foundation for sustained success. Also requires a team of people working passionately to support a common vision of what the Cubs can become. -- big part of my job is to build a dynamic baseball operations department that is -- progressive. Affective. And united. I plan to bring in some of the best in the brightest from outside the organization. But I also plan to sit down and learn from all the talented people who have served the Cubs so well over the years. Together we've worked to define and implement a new vision for the Cubs. The foundation for sustained success also means creating sound decision making processes have their hundreds of small decisions. That baseball front offices make every day a little opportunities. To impact the organization. And our goal will be to create some results yourself process. Today and will use every bit of the available information traditional scouting I want hands. An objective that up on on the other hand so that I evaluation can come into greater focus. We also pledged to dig deeper research and development to try to find that next great competitive advantage they'll push the Cubs scored. Building a foundation for success also means creating a winning culture at the big league level. Our fans deserve a clubhouse full of players -- -- proud to Wear the Cubs uniform and are as passionate about winning as they are. Our players on the other hand deserve to know that their teammates out their backs. And they deserve to know that the organization will always be honest with them and we'll work hard to put them in a position to succeed. We're gonna have to grind always in the top. And we must do so together. You'll be a lot of work. Good thing we are ready and we are hungry. You know as I mentioned earlier when we do achieve that sustained success and ultimately win a World Series it -- not happen because of any one person. -- happened because of all of us. -- happen because one of our area scouts drives the extra six miles to get that one last look at a prospect before the draft. I don't happen because a rookie ball pitching coach comes out every day early work in Philly finally finds that right script for young pitchers changeup. -- -- happened because someone from our international staff takes the extra time. But to really get to know seventeen year old kid helps make his transition into the states that much easier. -- will happen because the fringe prospect in double play buys into the Cubs away. Takes responsibility for his own development and turned himself into a big piece of our big league puzzle. It will happen because -- Major League coaching staff has more prepared. Than their counterparts across the field. It'll happen because -- Major League players band together. Support each other overcome adversity and work really hard to make our fans proud. -- will not be any one person there will be all of us for the Chicago Cubs. I believe we will do it. I really can't wait to help lead the right. So Tom thanks again for the opportunities you can't wait to get started. Us. Thank you thank you thank thank you feel we can now open it up for questions and answers we do have a pair of wireless microphones available please wait until you have a microphone in hand before asking your question. Please identify judge yourself and your publication before asking the question. Time he'll feel welcome to Chicago. Bruce Levine ESPN Chicago. As far as addressing your managerial situation how quickly He wanted to talk to Mike. Coaches and set up what you need to do. In a timely fashion. Jeff -- had a couple nice cellphone conversations that Mike Quade. And that we we have plans to meet in person sometime over the next weeks off. And Mike seems like a great guy and He and he's develops. A great reputation over many decades in this game so. I look forward to sitting down -- him in person as a first step. Sharing with him my vision for the organization I'd like to hear his vision for the organization. We have to talk about some things have happened over the last year so about forward to that process of exchanging information sharing our visions and then. We'll get together as a group and decide where we go from there. We know Dodgers Chicago Tribune. You you referenced the Cubs 2011 draft but I'm just wondering. As it was happening at the time. How you looked at the Cubs spending in that draft and Latin America in that period because this somewhat. Atypical of how how previous operations of dead ends. Do you think you would be here had they not been that aggressive last summer. Does the Cubs. Draft went on but rescind an autograph from him we can tell what they're doing and that we. Think we looked at each other. In the draft room we said they get it. Yeah I think they finally get it they're they're going for it and I think that the dollars we spend in the draft and the dollars that we spend internationally or some of the best dollars -- -- That we spend an industry that best investments that we made so there was a clear. Philosophical change in my opinion. And what they've and a new direction that they've taken over the last six months so that I think that got my attention it got everyone's attention in the game. It's certainly. Aligns well with my vision for how to run a baseball operations side I'd say it was a significant moment. Field general from ABC seven here in Chicago. You grew up as a Red Sox fan having been born in Brookline Massachusetts how tough was it for you. To make this change after having so much success of Boston. Sure. Yeah I had agreed agreed ten years with the Red Sox. We. A lot of fun. A lot of success we won two World Series we got to see the the baseball operations department grow we get to see the business side grow it's the ballpark and prove we got to see how the city responded. I would never change it I got to make friends -- last a lifetime I have to share all my family. So I would never trade that experience for everything but. I do believe you know Bill Walsh. The 49ers said it best that after about ten years in sports. Yeah there comes a time when you have to consider change for the benefit not only of the individual involved also. For the benefit of the organization and I wouldn't trade my time in the Red Sox that you think it is time to move on there and great hands and they have a terrific future laid out in front of them and I was ready for the next big challenge and this is certainly the ultimate challenge and ready to embrace and move forward. If you Jon Greenberg is in Chicago. When you see you talked about rebuilding Huber Todd archer this minus time. Lots of them and I'll bore you with that were you see. Next year's zone -- -- You know I toxins in my remarks about building a foundation for sustained success that really is the goal not just. You have one good season and fall back just do things the right way. Build it up through scouting and player development establish a foundation that allows you that sustain success year in year out so. That's gonna be something that we focus on every single day all of us in baseball operations building a foundation. But there's a parallel front. And at the same time we're going to be working on the on the Major League club because. Every season represents an opportunity to win. Every opportunity to win it's sacred it's sacred to us and inside the organization should be sacred to the fans as well. And they deserve our best efforts to do what we can to improve the club to put. And put the club in positions to succeed in any given season so. Those are the -- -- -- fronts are going to be operating on very dedicated a lot of time to building a foundation. And also a lot of time energy and creative thought and see what we can do exit. Think the Cubs as competitive as possible is as good a baseball team as possible win as many games as possible. I would say it is the decisions that we make. Will be would be best interest of the Cubs over the long haul in mind He is that we need to do this the right way you know there are no short cuts in baseball. But we're going to be working on both fronts opportunities to win or sacred and building a foundation for long term successes fundamental. Beyond David Kaplan from WGN radio Comcast sports net there's been a lot of talk about culture change. Here Wrigley Field when you hear that term culture change in the clubhouse in the organization. -- -- Means a couple different things I think. The easiest way to start to change the culture is is in the is in the front office and that. Essentially involves. A lot of hard work. It involves. Setting high standards it involves. Coming together around a common vision for the organization. And getting everyone to buy in that it's the most important thing in the world to us and essentially just. Working so hard that. It creates. Culture. Responsibility of culture achievement culture of bystanders and if you're not ready to buy into that here. Probably. Not gonna be along for the ride. That same thing happens. In the big league clubhouse we can set. Set the tone in the front office and ultimately the manager in Major League coaching staff. Will be -- but and a veteran leadership on the club. Will be responsible for setting that same -- establishing a winning culture. In the Major League clubhouse. And that involves players. Prioritizing winning involves players having each other's back. It involves players taking seriously their responsibilities that come with the job. Preparations. Fitness. You know being ready to play every single day and an understanding that winning is the single most important thing so. Cultural changes don't come easily. And you can't fake them they have yet you have to do it through hard work and we're ready to do that. Theo Rick Morrissey from each other sometimes. You've made it pretty clear here that this is this is a team effort. What what makes you think. That you can do -- no one else has been able to do and under in three years. We'll get it won't be me doing it there will be it'll be all of us doing it. Yeah like when I got to Boston. I promise not to to refer to the Red Sox and every ounce of I think it's apropos here there are a lot of similarities. -- when I got to Boston and 186 years. And we didn't run from that challenge. We embraced it. And we decided that the way to attack it was to. Build the best baseball operation that we could. To try to establish a winning culture. To work as hard as possible. And to bring in players who cared to. More about each other and more about winning and what about. Did them what you know the people around them thought it via the external expectations of the external mindset. That's something that is going to be important to us here as well you know. That this talked about it we're gonna build the best baseball operation we can we're gonna change the culture. Our players are gonna change the culture along with us and in the Major League club house and we're gonna make we're gonna make building a foundation for sustained success. Priority that'll lead to playing October baseball. More often than not down the road and once you get in October. There's a legitimate chance to in the World Series I believe we can do it -- look forward health. Feel Pedro Gomez from ESPN it better. When you took over the Sox that was a roster and organization that was ready I -- in your first year LCS second year World Series champs how do you view where the Cubs are today. As you take over on day one. But I certainly think that there is there's a gap between where we are and and where we wanted to be and that doesn't affect. The work that we do to build that foundation that's gonna start -- scouting and player development but it it does impact how we look at our other primary responsibility. Which is taking advantage of those -- opportunities to win we're gonna have to. We're gonna ask that a high hit rate we're gonna have to do to get creative look at the big league team. They work extremely hard to put them in a position to to contend. Next year and in the years that follow. No but it but it it can be done they can be done their lots of examples of of the teams. Coming off typical seasons. Pushing all the right buttons and all of a sudden being in contention of that that's. That doesn't always happen and they in this is more variability when you're that type situation but really do our best on that front even as. The important daily work. Of building a foundation for long term success continues off -- off. Feel like David Schuster they'll -- SER radio welcome to Chicago thank you all. Com took a long time for you to get in here. And now that you are in charge supposedly one -- -- -- Compensation package now that you are in charge are you to figure out final touches or. The compensation package for you coming in here. Well you know the first they are set -- does that the Cubs Cubs and Red Sox have a great working relationship they've had gone for years they're gonna have one together going forward in the future of their a lot of solid relationships on both ends. And you know they're able to make a lot of progress you know. I'm being announced the president of baseball operations here today. Bench Arrington is going to be announces the general manager of the Red Sox in both organizations there are gonna move forward we're able to attack the offseason law we have. You know the issue of compensation. I'm sure will be addressed in coming weeks is between the clubs of the give their their best efforts to try to get it done or ultimately by a third party I think the bigger picture here is that. That we got it done the organizations are still allied and have amicable relations and we can move forward. -- -- -- -- -- -- You were adamant about not. Wanted to bring in a baseball guy or not needing a baseball guy to run the entire baseball operation did you change your mind down man or was that a case of having to elevate feel. In order to get him. Well I mean I think that time. No matter how you look at it ultimately there has to be one person who's responsible. For the decisions. Of the baseball organization. And accountable for the results in the baseball organization. After the last summer it was GM and as of today it's -- And you know there it all has to come up to one you know to one person is responsible and so I'm having you know ultimately that's that's basically how it works -- Last summer when when the question and passed us and it was gonna hire someone over champ. To to second guess sort to watch him and I'm not and his same thing that He has the obvious decisions and he'll be a cannibal for the results. Theo. And sort of music in the media. You take -- the process. Is field regionally. And short list. In -- -- because the reds are collectively the playoffs yet -- it's contract. Did you view them as a long shot. Well the I'm. On the process. Out of the way I managed it was we started without any list. The first thing we did to us take a look at all thirty teams and see what kind of results each of those teams had her -- had produced over the past ten years. Both in terms of wings win percentage wind consistency when efficiency we -- it all the wins we also stayed all the systems in baseball. And and which of those were most consistent and creating Major League players which once had the most Major League ready players in their system and which systems on average -- the best. And when you do all that you come up with a handful of teams that seem to rise above that's where we you know we focused our our energies. On the side of what I was doing as I talked to I'm. About twenty people in Major League Baseball. My trust. People it done that would maybe understand our situation and be able to give me candy and confidential assessment of what I should be looking for and and hit a perfect world who I should be looking for. And that ran through the end of end of the season. And we knew that we couldn't we were not gonna reach out to anyone to after the season. Provided that process. It was on. It was apparent to me that's. That deal was the best man for this job. We waited till. The right moment to to address that with with the Red Sox and then and then move forward. They are -- -- WGN TV in Chicago because club as a the bottom of the league hitters the last couple years of high achievers weapon a couple way. How do you change that up -- -- can change that mentality of fundamental baseball there. Well defense is it is an integral. Out of the game you know run prevention as a whole pitching and defense is essential if you're gonna have a winning club in. It it really does start with with good fundamental play and that's something that we have to prioritize not just at the big league level of it but throughout the organization and we have to. Created Cubs the Cubs way touches all aspects of the game and then there'll be. Player development Manuel with the with the appropriate way to play defense at every position expectations that we have four players not just offensively but also defensively and once we build this foundation that that Cubs who have been integrated vertically so we're playing in the game the same way. Dominican Summer League as we are rookie -- -- double last year at the big league level so. That's a real opportunity. To create competitive advantage if we can be sound fundamentally on the defensive side of the ball I would base running. Up and down the organization -- upscale -- -- wanna go. And chairman -- Chicago business this is for both you morning how would you characterize. The discussions that you had what was discussed. You know how important was it for you -- Commitments for. Time and front office staff and also him. We had great discussions there we sat down and and basically talk baseball her for five or six hours and we. I'm. -- I shared from. I shared my experience with the Red Sox things I thought we had done well things I thought that we can do better things I've learned from my time there that I can possibly apply going forward with a new organization. Shared my vision for. How are about the Cubs should be run going forward of the next period of time. And Tom shared his experience. To Hitler learned a lot about the game in the last two years and there really respect his approach getting out on the field going down to visit the minor league staff and scouts and spending time with -- on some -- get a feel for. Not just the macro economic picture of the game at the ownership level but also down in the trenches how how winning organizations are -- so. We just we talk baseball for a long time and that I thought we really made a connection and that that made this a more attractive option for me. As far as commitments that He made any we're open on us and one another. You know it's it's clear that. Throughout an opportunity to grow the baseball operations that thing we have to do that to build -- -- as dynamic an operation as -- -- And it's also clear that there are. More than enough resources here. For us to win they'll be up to me to decide how to allocate those resources not just with the Major League payroll and in the draft internationally with the retired hiring talented scouts infield stuff so. There's a great opportunity here. I feel if Davis is the -- David Schuster again you you tend to really thoughtful article that ran in the Boston Globe and one of the things that you wrote in there. Was there's almost like a limitation of how long it. Sometimes you can hang around in an organization in sports I don't know what the timeframe was can you expound on Nen white that is in sports. Yeah yeah I mentioned that. In the articles morning I cited Bill Walsh who. This -- by the respected yet this theory and others about the same theory that. After about ten years in sports. It reaches a time where you kind of need a new vision for the organization and where the coach and executive maybe needs a new a new challenge in new landscape it's to apply his own his own principles up. Yeah I don't know if that's an across the board rule actually plastic and other high pressure jobs well if you look at university presidents for example. Usually their peak effectiveness for the first decade on the job after that is their move on -- lose effectiveness so. Tough we got we got a lot we can do it a lot we accomplish in the next ten years of does that repeats itself but I'm really happy to be a Cubs are looking forward in a cup for a long time. -- they've dropped in Chicago Tribune you know how much of the cubs' opening bell influenced or accelerated that thinking in your own head. Because the opportunity that existed here in town maybe you can address it. How well aware where you that He might be ready to move on from Boston. Well my focuses on the Red Sox we got a lot to do we had. You know one of the most talented teams in baseball on the field earlier in the midst of another great season and unfortunately ended the disappointment. But as I mentioned in the the op Ed piece this morning differ for a little while now I've started. You know those words of Bill Walsh -- been resonating with me a little bit so I decided -- back in my mind. That there -- -- via transition upcoming. Help train and Harrington is is more than capable of taking over as my successor. And you know once we got through this season all the sudden we are in a position at the Red Sox have to hire new manager. I felt like that was something that was best done by. Ben because He was going to be there for the long haul. And then when the Cubs called. Frankly that really got my attention. Because of that history because of the tradition because of their greatest commitment to winning. Because of the ballpark in the fans. And because of the fact that we haven't won a World Series -- it really really long time you know. The two best parts of my job of of of the last decade that the Red Sox. First thing was. Helping to build a scouting and player development machine you know from the from the ground floor and getting in the trenches with the guys and helping right player development Manuel scouting manual billion from the ground up and ultimately helping to -- big league players that. Helped us win games and innocent and that and the other great thing try to best that's part of me with a Red Sox was playing a small part. They're winning that World Series in 2004. And getting to see the looks on people's faces the joy that it brought. Families that were hanging Red Sox pennants on the on the on the graves and cemeteries. That that -- from Logan Airport to Fenway Park where we -- business men and women. Stopping in those treatments -- -- getting out hugging each others have construction workers -- other out on top buildings and and it it really impacted. The whole region of the country in generations of families so the Cubs opportunity. Provides me for a provides us a forum to do both those things. We can -- scouting and player development operation from the ground up do it together. And and end up having lots of players come to the system and the Cubs way player right here -- ends you know. When we build that foundation for sustained success and ultimately results in a World Series. Skin and it's going to be more than just a World Series and impacts a lot of people lot of Cubs fans a lot of -- families who for generations and waited and waited for World Series of the two best things about -- Red Sox experience that may have a chance to to try to recreate here so sure I got my attention. And maybe consider making that move. I do it. Back to the the party question addressed to me be out there they had no idea. You know we just had to you know we we went through our analysis and I looked and I said well before we move forward hour -- see if there's it is a chance. That that we can talk -- -- -- after about. Ten or fifteen minutes of our conversation I knew this was the guy is that we needed here so. Just. After that it was just a matter of just you know going through the process an excuse. Theres not a charm He is in Chicago you know thank you talk about a change in philosophy is one of the things the Cubs probably cars behind. Expensive Red Sox statistical analysis. He is talking about how important aspect is they're building a winning team and how you'll go about -- them part of. Sure. But my personal approach is that the best organizations. Used both traditional scouting at its best. And subjective analysis that's best and if you can't look you can look at each of those. Paradigm does as a lens through it to view a player so if you hire the best doubts put them in a position to see the players. At the right time. And get good solid accurate scouting reports you see the players through through a strong traditional scouting lance. If you hire the best analysts. Get get the most accurate that but make them -- make the best adjustments to the most thorough analysis and you come out with the the best available. A statistical information that's another lands an objective plans. Do wish to view the player but think that the way to see the player most accurately that to get the -- his picture of the player this to put both those plans together. And look through them simultaneously and you get to pretty darn accurate a picture of the player -- That that that was my approach as I came up through the game -- Literally sitting between the scouting director in this and the stats analysts that the Padres and that's how I've I've formed my way of looking at the game. That's the approach we tried to. Use of the Red Sox and I'd like to bring that same approach or the Cubs. Theo -- -- USA today. In the short term with the players payroll you have to work with next year would be higher or lower about the same as the Cubs had this you. I have a personal policy the Boston writers who knows well -- of policy of never commenting at all on non player payroll issues. I'd say it's to the -- advantage to it enough promulgate that information -- talk about their future plans. But also that's at a said earlier -- they're more than enough resources here to win there there are tremendous revenues. And we'll have a very significant. Amount of resources on the baseball side talented as we see fit. Doesn't necessarily mean it's all gonna go into Major League payroll right away. There could be an opportunity to do that depends how the market plays itself out and more a better feel for that after I dig deeper about the organization and our needs but it could be that reallocate some some of those resources. To the drafts internationally to building up. And even better infrastructure for scouting and player development self. There there are a lot of resources here and ultimately they'll be up to us with the decisions that we make over time to for them to get you. It's. DR Phil Rodgers Chicago Tribune again. What you say you have more than enough resources to win and while the Red Sox were close when you got terrorism world were promoted to GM. Fenway Park today looks totally different that it did ten years ago the Red Sox have tapped into revenue streams. In that decade that have been just market. How much of your optimism in. Thinking you can succeed here is -- into the ability. Replicate that success on the business I'd like no you're a baseball guy it certainly has impact. Well yeah I'm I'm a bit of a purist when it comes when it comes to the game so I'm truly lucky to to have had the opportunity to work -- -- part for ten years and incredibly lucky. The call Wrigley Field home now is it might those are my two favorite ballparks. In the game. No decision tested yet during my time of the Red Sox. And I got to see. How important it was. It to renovate the -- argument that could even -- -- -- there's a kid through the eighties incident ninety's. The markets are in the fall into disrepair a little bit away is still a great place but it wasn't as creative players to watch a game is as maybe it had been earlier. I was lucky in in game there in 2002. That was right around the time that that there renovations started and the impact was tremendous. Improve the fan experience. Fantastically. It generated revenues. That are remarkable -- And then that in turn allowed us on the baseball side to take those revenues. And pour them into our baseball operation which allowed just it gets the level we want to be and stay there. And then beyond that. It did it has significant impact on the city. If semi part became the schedule of Boston and everybody came to town. Had to see to experience and so. Not sure you know if we were lucky enough to follow days those same steps here in Chicago at Wrigley Field. -- only mean great things to the fans. Great things for our revenues which in turn means great things for -- baseball operations. And and the great thing for the city of Chicago. -- Christina Carl from espn.com. Welcome to Chicago active. I'm Jim Friday Jim Hendry. There's been a lot of money spent on post prime free agents in Cubs history I'm curious about how your interest in changing the dynamic. I'm in terms of attracting the very best of this team in this market. Second your whole question about post post prime free agents and changing that. How do you wanna change the dynamic or how do you anticipate changing the dynamic protect the very best on the market to this team in this market. Look at. But I think you have baseball players. Have a prime age should know this is an age range owns this starting somewhere around point six point seven ending somewhere around 3132. That's. In which you get that the best production in the book the best thing for your -- with the players so. You know clearly we're gonna have a diversified roster we have a lot of young players under control we're gonna have some players -- arbitration years and we're sure to have some veterans and their free agent years as well I think. If we do our jobs are that way. We'll have as many. Players in their prime hopefully homegrown impact type players. Who are moving into their prime years are still in their prime -- that's the best formula to build a winning baseball club that said. There's an important role for veterans. And veteran leadership. I think the key is to. Make sure that you pay and I've learned this lesson through the years the hard way as well to the key is to pay for future for. Mormons not for past performance. -- Al -- from the times northwest Indiana war torn city thank you you've accomplished a lot. Great things early in your life. What's the quality your tree that you feel you process that separates you from -- Leaders in the game from. That's a tough one. Ability to -- -- inconspicuous at Starbucks and you're tired. Maybe not maybe not so much in hindsight. I don't know I mean I've had my colleagues tell me my friends tell me in the game -- its competitiveness that. You know I think a lot of people on in the game -- competitive. Being honest to myself that's -- Sam -- hyper competitive. Maybe overly driven to succeed. And and on the same but but at the same time I don't like to do it individually -- I like to. Get into a bunker with a group of people that I believe and and you believe in me as a leader. Develop a good vision that we can that we share. And and work our tails off in order to see it through implemented on the field there's. Nothing better in the game and then sitting back there watching. Players pour champagne over another and even that the other guys in the front office in the scouts in the field staff. -- pin on one another and know that. You were there they were there working along knights putting the hard work and play a small role won't help -- make that happens I think my competitiveness. And -- a desire to be part of a group united by -- common goal. Two characteristics that thing. Observed that while some in the -- in some capacity. Feel out Matt Abbatacola. SIX SEVENTY The Score do you Begin moving forward with the organization and teaching uniform pros how baseball is done. And what's a realistic timetable to understanding that the entire organization is moving forward in that direction. Yeah well I think that's the first step is to. -- their 21 steps one and I met this earlier line is to actively pursue the best and the brightest. Out there from other organizations -- true impact personnel that we can that we can bring in its to immediately make us a better organization. And the second step is to sit down with the that talented people here. Who have served the Cubs of offers for so long I know there's a lot I can learn from them not just about how the Cubs have operated and things the Cubs do well and things the Cubs do better. But I can learn about the game from them you know that this in this game. There are no definitive answers you know really if you think you've got off to get out in this game you get humbled really quickly. So I look forward to -- down the for the folks that we have here bringing in the best and the brightest from outside forming a cohesive unit and then then the next deficit down to find that vision. There's not one way to play this game is this it -- -- the Cubs way albeit dynamics. Living breathing -- that changes every year we're gonna add to our scouting manual our player development every year. Through insights that we develop through hard work and research and also through mistakes that we made and learn to take some things out of that approach so it's gonna start immediately. We've been the people and then we'll build the processes around that before. We'll do two more questions that were written in the smaller groups. CEO meg and on merit not Muster during your discussions did you have any hesitation and concern tonight that means it's. No you know I had. I had some some skepticism going in is because I had such a great situation in Boston and as I discussed earlier and near us Friday nearing the end of my tenure there just because a thousand importance. Look for the next challenge that -- important for the Red Sox to to have the benefit of the true change I can come from a new perspective. But you know the more I learned about the Cubs the more I learned about the rickets family the more -- learned about. It's a lot of people over here. The more interest that I was in -- dating back to. -- my time as a kid watching some games on the WG as a Red Sox fan all the way. But casino games on the end the day is come home right after school on their on. I developed -- -- romantic notion of the Cubs and and what there are all about Wrigley Field in the history and tradition in. Clearly the the fact that rim on the World Series in -- time and it was nice for me that the reality you know what I learned about ownership and the fans and and the vision here matches up with that romantic vision and and that this was the right place to come to. You know Alex isn't going to be yet I found its 82 part question subsequent and I. Obviously there's there's a new challenge new opportunity is here for you but structurally how is this different in what was what was appealing about this job structurally vs when you had in Boston. In the second part is what's this been like the last couple weeks just kind of in this. I don't know who would be characterized as limbo -- this kind of in between them and Allstate if you've been. Mr. I guess -- a second part first. The last couple weeks have been interstate. Does talent we have a front office meeting yesterday. I got to meet throughout the whole front office has talent on that felt like that guy into the office space. But just the reds did -- stickler who. Just -- -- at Fenway Park you know you just keep showing up to work and it was as if someone forgot to tell me I didn't work there anymore I -- I had I did end up in the basement with the six cubicleescape runner. And I knew it was time to go to Chicago. But it was fun yeah I -- organizations. We're doing the best they can and and that the relationships are Solomon of -- that eventually it worked out that did. Your first question about structural. Yet you know decide this job allows me two. -- baseball operations Disney's. Wide. The wide out of responsibilities to to make decisions allocate resources as a as I see fit within baseball operations as well as it was a case in Boston to a large extent. There's some additional responsibilities here I'm gonna serve as the baseball liaison to the business side and work closely. With -- Leading your organization forward we have a number of projects under development. In the Dominican Republic in mesa. Eventually hear it here at Wrigley. And I -- be involved in helping scene goes through to fruition and -- really of the involved in all the baseball elements. Of the work that we're gonna do here so it's it's a great job I'm perfectly happy doing -- and I came here. To join the Cubs and to help Africa to help build a foundation and help the Cubs went. I didn't come here for a title or for anything else it but I'm perfectly perfectly happy with. The structure in and even happier about the people -- excellent. Thank you for joining us -- things you.

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